Bob Vespaziani

Last updated
Bob Vespaziani
Born:(1935-06-15)June 15, 1935
Mount Vernon, New York
Died:January 20, 2018(2018-01-20) (aged 82)
Lakefield, Ontario
Career information
College Springfield College
Career history
As coach
1971–1978 Acadia (HC)
19791984 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Asst.)
1985 BC Lions (LB Coach)
19861987 Calgary Stampeders (HC)
19881989 BC Lions (LB Coach)
1990 BC Lions (DB Coach)
1991 BC Lions (Front 7 Coach)
1992 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (DL Coach)
19941999 Calgary Stampeders (DL Coach)
2008–2014 Queen's Golden Gaels (DL Coach)
As Administrator
1985 BC Lions (Dir. of player personnel)
20002002 Saskatchewan Roughriders (Asst. GM)
20032007 Saskatchewan Roughriders (Consultant)

Robert "Bob" Amedeo Vespaziani was an American-born Canadian football coach who was head coach of the Calgary Stampeders from 1986 to 1987.

Contents

Early life

Vespaziani was born in Mount Vernon, New York and grew up in Massachusetts. He graduated from Springfield College and began his coaching career as a high school coach in Massachusetts and New Jersey. [1]

Coaching career

From 1971 to 1978, Vespaziani was the head coach of the Acadia Axemen. The Axemen won the Bluenose conference championship in 1975, but lost the Atlantic Bowl to Calgary Dinos. Acadia won the Atlantic Bowl in 1976 and 1977, but lost the Vanier Cup both years to the Western Mustangs. [2]

From 1979 to 1984, Vespaziani was an assistant with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Bombers won the Grey Cup in 1984. In 1985 he was the director of player personnel and linebackers coach for the Grey Cup-winning BC Lions. [3]

In 1986, Vespaziani was named head coach of the Calgary Stampeders. The team went 11-7 in his first season and Calgary made the playoffs for the first time in four years. [4] He was runner up to Al Bruno for the Annis Stukus Trophy. [5] The following year, the Stampeders started with a 2-6 record and Vespaziani and general manager Earl Lunsford were fired. [4]

In 1988, Vespaziani returned to the BC Lions as linebackers coach. [6] He was not retained by new head coach Bob O'Billovich in 1990. Vespaziani decided to work towards a business securities licence and served as head coach of the Delta Secondary School. [7] However, that September he was rehired by the Lions as defensive backs coach. [8] The following year he coached the Lions defensive front seven. He was fired by O'Billovich after the season, as O'Billovich felt that the Lions could have gone to the Grey Cup if Vespaziani's players had performed better. [9]

In 1992, Vespaziani served as a guest coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. However after head coach Cal Murphy suffered a heart attack, interim head coach Urban Bowman asked Vespaziani to stay on to take over Bowman's duties as defensive line coach. [10] In 1994 Vespaziani was named defensive line coach of the Calgary Stampeders. [11] In 2000 he joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders as assistant general manager. [12] His position was eliminated in 2004 but remained with the team as a football consultant and guest coach. [13] He retired after the 2007 season. [14] From 2008 to 2014 he served as a volunteer defensive line coach with the Queen's Golden Gaels. He was a member of the coaching staff with the Gales won the 2009 Vanier Cup. [15]

Vespaziani died on January 20, 2018 in Lakefield, Ontario. [15]

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References

  1. "Stampeders Shake Up Front Office". Syracuse Post Standard. August 19, 1987.
  2. "Robert "Bob" Vespaziani". Acadia Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  3. "B.C. football aide after Calgary post". The Toronto Star. February 6, 1986.
  4. 1 2 "Stampeders Clean House". The Windsor Star. August 19, 1987.
  5. Shoalts, David (January 23, 1987). "Bruno chosen coach of year". The Globe and Mail.
  6. Little, Lyndon (April 7, 1988). "Vespaziani still feeling pain of losing Stamp job". The Vancouver Sun.
  7. Spencer, Kent (September 17, 1990). "Coach Vespaziani joins Lions' staff". The Province.
  8. "Deals". USA Today. September 17, 1990.
  9. Spencer, Kent (December 12, 1991). "Vespaziani tossed from Lions' den". The Province.
  10. Scanlan, Wayne (July 17, 1992). "Winnipeg site of Urban renewal". The Ottawa Citizen.
  11. "People Transcations". The Gazette. June 3, 1994.
  12. "Riders hire another from Stampeders". Alaska Highway News. January 6, 2000.
  13. Davis, Darrell (April 3, 2004). "Riders' president could be full-time job". The Star-Phoenix.
  14. Davis, Darrell (January 31, 2007). "Barrett interviews with Blue Bombers". The Star-Phoenix.
  15. 1 2 "Athletics & Recreation mourns the loss of Bob Vespaziani". Queen's University Athletics. Retrieved February 3, 2019.